Special event to thank volunteer Health Walk leaders

Published Wednesday, 11th March 2015

Around 60 Health Walk Leaders from around Worcestershire will receive a special thank you for their efforts at an event later this month.

The celebration in the Bishop's Palace at Hartlebury Museum on Wednesday, March 25, is being organised by the County Council's Countryside Service in recognition of the voluntary work of leaders from 22 Walking for Health groups across Worcestershire.

The event will include talks from Mary Arden-Davies, a Trustee with the Hartlebury Castle Preservation Society, and Wade Muggleton who is a Senior Community Greenspace Officer with the Countryside Service.

Walking for Health is a national scheme delivered in Worcestershire by the County Council in partnership with the Ramblers Walking for Health and the MacMillan Cancer Support charity. The walking groups are run by volunteers and vary in size from six to about 200 members.

Each week around 500 people county-wide take parts in short organised walks, usually over flat ground. They are aimed at people of all ages and abilities who want to get fitter or perhaps return to exercise following an illness or injury. The social opportunities offered are an added benefit.

Health Walks Officer Lynn Yendell said that the voluntary leaders carried out risk assessments for their walk programmes and last year were involved in gaining formal accreditation for their groups for the first time with the Ramblers Walking for Health scheme. This was to ensure consistency in terms of what walkers were offered.

She added: "The event we are holding at Hartlebury is to thank them all for going through that process and to recognise them for the time and effort that they put into running their groups."

Cllr Lucy Hodgson, Worcestershire County Council Cabinet Member for Localism and Communities, said: "Organising these walks is a significant commitment and collectively the health and social benefits are huge. I will be attending the celebration event to ensure that the volunteers understand how much the Council values their contribution." 

More information about Health Walks and becoming a Health Walk Leader is available on the County Council website at:

http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/info/20151/walking_in_worcestershire/1013/health_walks